By Peter Gleason
The Bermuda Triangle-like convergence of the Beijing Olympics, the LA Super Bowl next Sunday and the every-day accumulation of hype about the NBA, Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, and the March to Madness is almost too much for us to digest in one gulp.
Especially when the great American Hype Machine takes hold.
Sports have always been hyped.
And the USA is in love with sports.
That’s how we manage to get through the fear and loathing of COVID, our God-awful politics and the supply chain plus inflation.
Earl Warren was once asked why he, the Chief Justice of the United States, always turned to the sports page first, and he replied:
“Because that’s where man’s accomplishments are chronicled, not his failures.”
That was in the 1950s, and I suspect that even Warren would have a different answer today.
John Kass sure has a different answer, and the great Chicago columnist, who wrote for the Tribune as a legatee of the legendary Mike Royko, begins:
I really shouldn’t be writing a column asking:
What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Sports?
Because I already know the answer. What do we talk about?
We talk politics. Only the witless refuse to acknowledge the taint.
Especially today, with the Beijing Winter Olympics hyped on NBC, and the Roman Circus of the Super Bowl coming up, and media doing what it always does, selling sports as virtue 24/7 to sell beer, cars, auto insurance and erectile dysfunction remedies.
Don’t you just love TV’s touching sentimental profiles of Olympic athletes who had to overcome great odds? NBC has given the world the cry show called “This is Us.” And the China Olympics on NBC is Sports This is Us On Steroids. Grab the box of tissue. Cue the tiny piano. Spoon the ice cream right out of the tub. And cry on the couch.
Cry, baby. Cry.
All you have to do is forget about the lab where the Wuhan Virus probably came from and forget what’s happening to the Uighurs. Enjoy the show.